I started buying Black late 2014 after reading Our Black Year by Maggie Anderson. It wasn’t exactly easy at first since I was dedicated to ONLY buying from Black businesses but then I had a sort of revelation. As of right now, we don’t have a lot companies that offer an array of products. So instead of focusing on solely buying Black, just incorporate it into your routine more often.
I’m going to share with you what I do. I made it very convenient for me and my needs so please feel free to mold these suggestions into something easy for you. Earlier this year I had a discussion with a young woman (Black) who felt that shopping at Black businesses was too much of a hassle. What if she needed something urgently and waiting for a shipment wasn’t feasible? What if they didn’t have what she wanted or things she was used to?
This can seem impossible or taboo at first because it’s new to most millennials. There were way more Black businesses and plenty of options 40+ years ago. Believe me, I understand how tough it can be but I don’t want you giving up before you start. Learn to plan ahead when you need important things like toiletries. If you find yourself making an excuse before you try something, just don’t do it. You’re going to fool yourself into believing it can’t be done. Though, if you really want to make a change and do something different but find yourself making an excuse, try to think of one solution to every excuse you make.
You always play a part in solving your own problems & dilemmas.
New things take effort and patience. You can’t expect everything to be super easy. I already spoke of the importance of buying from Black businesses and how beneficial it will be to us and all of our communities. If you need a refresher, here you go: http://bit.ly/2jkje4u
Clothes & Accessories
I buy all of my big pieces from Black businesses. Head wraps. Jewelry. Pins. Shirts & blouses. Sometimes pants. But when I need, let’s say overalls or some plain shirts or simple shoes to go with my statement pieces; all of those are purchased elsewhere. I give myself a $50 limit. Now you may be saying, “But clothes from Black shops are sooooo expensive.” I don’t mind paying an extra buck or two for handmade, quality clothing. Things that will last me until the end of time as long as I take care of it.
When I used to buy my big statement items from other stores they never really lasted that long. Especially the jewelry. I shopped at stores like Asos, Karmaloop, LuLus, etc. Even though I still shop at those stores from time to time, I keep my purchases to a minimum.
We are all adults (or adults in the making) so we must learn how to plan ahead for the things that we need. Once you start making a budget for yourself you’ll realize how easy it is. Doing things last minute will no longer work for you.
Make a list of what you need. Laundry/Dish detergent, soap, lotion, hair products, etc. Most of it can be found on WeBuyBlack.com. You can also find Black owned etsy shops and there are plenty of businesses that fly under the radar on Instagram so keep your eyes opened. Just be willing to do the research or add a bit more effort in before giving up and saying, “Well, none of them have what I need.”
Lately I’ve been looking for a yoga class to attend. I don’t mind travelling further for a class. It’ll be beneficial to my health and also my community (a win-win). My personal trainer & kickboxing teacher is Black; I was lucky when I found her. Long story short, when I need a service done I search high and low for any Black business that can provide it.
The planning ahead thing can fit here as well. For example, if you have a car that doesn’t quite need fixing yet, find a trustworthy, Black mechanic who can fix it for you. Make a “Just in Case” list.
Mechanic: Name, Address, Phone #
Plumber: Name, Address, Phone #
Painter: Name, Address, Phone #
(You get the idea.)
Now, this can also work for things like a nail tech. Ladies, I know you’re probably in love with the person who does your nails and can’t imagine going to anyone else but we need you. If you’re serious about helping our communities prosper then a little change won’t hurt. Keep searching until you find a POC who can do your nails just as great if not better. And if you don’t really care to help our community, I don’t know why you’re still reading this. Get out of here!
There you have it. Buying Black is only as hard as you make it. I hope these tips helped! If you have any suggestions or different ways that you shop with Black owned businesses, please feel free to share! Also, to get you started (or keep you going) here is a list of some of the businesses I follow on IG: http://bit.ly/2jPw895